As the media cartel loses its power to define the agenda and dictate the terms of debate, states are starting to reassert their power to protect their citizens from an out-of-control federal government. A number of states have already passed laws that serve to reign in federal power over the regulation of guns. As an example . . .

From nbcnews.com:

In Idaho, the Legislature unanimously passed a law this year to keep any future federal gun measures from being enforced in the state. In Kansas, a law passed last year says federal regulation doesn’t apply to guns manufactured in the state. Wyoming, South Dakota and Arizona have had laws protecting “firearms freedom” from the U.S. government since 2010.

A News21 analysis shows 11 such bills in nine states have been signed into law, mainly in Western states, along with Kansas and Tennessee. Three more passed but were vetoed by governors in Montana, Missouri and Oklahoma. Many others failed to pass, even in conservative states.

Nullification laws have been introduced in more than three-quarters of U.S. states since 2008. More than half of those bills have come in the last two years, after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. All but three have been introduced since President Barack Obama took office.

Arizona is considering a bill, HB 2300, that would prevent local governments from serving as agents of the federal government if new federal gun regulations are passed. President Obama has vowed to use his executive power to push through such restrictions. The executive orders he has passed to date on the subject, while troubling, haven’t had much practical effect.

From HB 2300:

A. Notwithstanding any other law and except as required by a court order, an agency of this state or a political subdivision of this state or an employee of an agency or political subdivision of this state acting in the employee’s official capacity shall not do any of the following:

1. Knowingly and willingly participate in any way in the enforcement of any federal act, law, order, rule or regulation issued, enacted or promulgated on or after the effective date of this section regarding a personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition.

2. Use any assets, state monies or monies allocated by this state to political subdivisions of this state on or after the effective date of this section, in whole or in part, to engage in any activity that aids a federal agency, federal agent or corporation providing services to the federal government in the enforcement or any investigation pursuant to the enforcement of any federal act, law, order, rule or regulation issued, enacted or promulgated on or after the effective date of this section regarding a personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition.

The law is similar to the Idaho law enacted in 2014, but goes farther in that it covers all new federal firearms laws, not just the confiscation of firearms. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the federal government cannot compel state agents to enforce federal laws. The last ruling to that effect was Printz v. United States, in 1997. The court decision is referenced in the HB 2300:

4. That this right to be free from the commandeering hand of the federal government has been most notably recognized by the United States Supreme Court in Printz v. United States when the Court held, “The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program.”

5. That the anticommandeering principles recognized by the United States Supreme Court in Printz v. United States are predicated on the advice of James Madison, who in Federalist Number 46 advised “a refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” in response to either unconstitutional federal measures or constitutional but unpopular federal measures.

The federal system and the Constitution were largely designed to limit the power of the federal government through a system of checks and balances. During the “progressive era” of the last hundred years, those checks and balances have been seriously eroded, with the federal government taking control of vast areas of people’s lives. Protecting Second Amendment freedoms is just one area where the people are attempting to reassert limits on government power.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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41 Responses to AZ Bill Would Limit Feds’ Ability to Enforce Second Amendment Restrictions in the State

  1. We’re also trying to get campus carry passed here. HB 2072. If we could get the same kind of coverage the Texas campus carry Bill got it would greatly help the cause.

    • So are machine guns and Sbr’s legal or did state law make them illegal? What about going through an ffl for the initial purchase?

      • Full auto is still banned, SBRs and suppressors are legal, background checks are not required and dealer licensing is not required. As Cliff H noted, they obviously have to be made in Montana and never leave Montana. And, of course, the law was shot down in the Ninth Circuit and two petitions for the Supreme Court to see the case were denied. I doubt anyone would risk themselves by hoping to utilize this untested law for their defense, just like all the other laws mentioned in the article.

        • The Montana Firearms Freedoms act, and all the similar bills that followed, were more about making useless gestures for our rights. To my knowledge they have not stopped a single ATF prosecution or enabled possession of any firearms that weren’t already legal in those states.

          Any lawyer worth their degree could tell you the bills had no chance in hell because of multiple glaring conflicts with the Constitution and SCOTUS decisions. I can’t for the life of me figure out what Gary Marbut and MSSA thought they would achieve in Montana, apart from allowing some politicians to say they ‘supported our rights’ with a bill that actually achieved nothing except MSSA fundraising.

          Firearm owners, activists and politicians might think to focus our limited resources on achievable 2A goals than wasting money and time tilting at windmills like this.

        • Kree has is exactly right. The Montana and other similar laws are a waste of time and frankly a lazy way to pander to a conservative constituency with anti-federal sentiments. It’s much easier to write junk that has no shot at withstanding a challenge then craft meaningful, legally sound legislation protecting – or hopefully furthering – our Second Amendment rights.

          As for the Commerce Clause, any firearm manufactured in Montana is going to be subject to federal regulation and legislation, regardless of whether it crosses state lines. Ignoring the fact that there is undoubtedly interstate commerce taking place – materials, parts, etc. – SCOTUS has interpreted the clause to cover all manner of situations impacting interstate commerce. Read Gonzalez v Raich or Wickard v Filburn to see what I mean.

        • Yes. Raich pretty much make *everything* come under the commerce clause, thus rendering it essentially moot. If everything comes under the commerce clause, there was no reason to include it in the Constitution. It would have made much more sense to write; “Congress can regulate commerce.”

          The commerce clause has been twisted to mean almost precisely the reverse of what it originally meant.

  2. It’s great to see how green the grass is in the other lawns from my horrid perch here in California. I envy the level headed citizens of these states and their representatives who are working for the people, it’s just dam nice to see for once.

      • I’ll take brown rocks over scorched earth, legislatively speaking. Too many people here think they can stop violence by passing fresh laws, when it is obvious that enforcing existing laws is the only answer to mitigating violence.

        I cannot abide watching so many clamor for more 2nd Amendment restrictions, then watching their stunned faces when I answer questions about what firearms/accessories are illegal because of their campaigning for new laws; just to see them return to form and vote for the next new gun restriction. No mas.

  3. A bill to legalize nunchaku in Arizona, however, died this year. We can carry switchblades, swords, guns… but those two sticks are too dangerous!

    • From what I understand though, nunchakus are still legal for martial arts demonstration and tournament use.

      As a side note, after speaking to an officer in Tucson, despite all the times he has collected shurikans and ninja stars from criminals, not one has ever been linked to being used in a crime (from his personal experience anyways).

  4. Call bullshit. “The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the federal government cannot compel state agents to enforce federal laws.”

    Perhaps this is why sanctuary cities exist. In addition, the moment those federal laws are tied to funding each one will rollback whatever they inked.

    • Printz v. U.S. and Mack v. U.S. both held that states are sovereign and cannot be compelled to enforce federal laws. Both cases involved a Federal requirement that local police check the backgrounds of prospective gun buyers.

      Scalia wrote the opinions. Without him, I wonder what we have left.

    • True. They are all pretty much whores when it comes to redistributing your money to control your rights and privileges.

    • Im working on it. Cali resident currently in AZ going to school. I plan on trying to stay in AZ and become a resident after my schooling is done.

    • Better hurry before we start clamping down on Arizona’s immigration policies. 🙂 There is talk here in Arizona about closing the border with all bordering foreign countries including California. 🙂

  5. This is the way we can reclaim our rights. Local votes matter. Vote for the ones that support the original intent of the constitution.

    A bunch of yahoo’s running around the hills in camoflauge and “assault weapons” without local and state legislative support, is just a bunch of “insugents” that can easily be crushed. But when recognized by state and local communities, they are valued members of the organized militia that can defend against tyranny by the feds.

  6. Sounds like a 10th Amendment Center work. If you like this and other freedom loving state level law proposals, you’ll love the 10th Amendment Center.

  7. “AZ Bill Would Limit Feds’ Ability to Enforce Second Amendment Restrictions in the State”

    No, it doesn’t. I wish the media would stop classifying laws like this as such. They do no such thing. The feds can do just as much as they did before. The state is only limiting itself. It’s something, I guess, but it’s not much.

    • I don’t even give this proposed law that much credit. Here is the part that guts the entire law:

      … except as required by a court order …

      So Fedzilla tells some federal court judge to order Arizona to assist and now this law might as well not even exist.

      And for anyone who dismisses this possibility, I’ll bet the same people never thought a court would order Apple Inc. to create technology for the federal government’s benefit, either.

  8. the whole issue of gun control is nothing but smoke and mirrors perpetrated by the Democratic Party so they can elect evil people too do their bidding, IRS, BLM, EPA! Most democratic Senators and Congressmen deserve not the office they have because of Sedition, Treason, against the very Constitution they proclaim to defend, instead they the weak willed or beholden, suck the tit of the Party coffers, in turn become yes men too what ever the party wants! Gun Control is a distraction away from the real Issues: Molon Labe, Semper Fortis

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